With this blog I've done something a little different than I've seen on other blogs: combined the real life of Laura Ingalls Wilder with the shows based upon her famous children's books.
It seems fitting, therefore, that there be some type of discussion about whether you loved the books first or if you discovered the books because of Michael Landon's Little House on the Prairie.
And we must take the discussion one step further--because we know it will go there anyway--by asking how you felt about the show straying so far from Laura's books during the 10 Seasons (well, nine seasons and three movies) of LHOP. I know people who refused, and still refuse, to watch the show because it didn't remain true to the books.
My own experience with Laura's Little House books has a funny story...funny to me anyway. In Fifth Grade I had to choose a book to do a report on. I chose Laura's Little House on the Prairie. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't get into the book. I figure it had a lot to do with the fact that it wasn't as much like the show I had been watching for years (it was in Season 5) as I thought it would be.
Do you see where this is going yet?
Yes, I wrote my book report on what had been going on with the show for the past five seasons. I had Laura and her family living in Walnut Grove, Mary had wed Adam Kendall, and the Ingalls family had adopted an orphan named Albert. I really wish I had kept that report, but that C- staring me in the face bugged me.
I continued to watch LHOP until it ended in the early 80's. I'm not sure what made me finally pick up the Little House books again (sometime after I graduated from high school in '86), but I did. I was instantly hooked.
Now, my bookshelf is sagging with the numerous titles by and about Laura and her family.
I still love the show too. Maybe it's because I loved the show first and then loved and admired Laura's written work later, that the discrepancies between them never bothered me. Or it could be that since Laura's books are also partially fiction that I didn't mind the liberties taken by the show. I've always looked at the books and the shows based upon them as just different ways to honor Laura's legacy. If I wanted 100% factual information I would look for a documentary of Laura's life. But that's not what Little House on the Prairie was. Now, I'll admit the episodes that I enjoy most are the ones that I can relate back to the books, but there are also many episodes I adore that were written outside of the material found in the books.
I'm sure none of us is going to influence the other to think or feel differently, but I would sure love to hear your thoughts.
So, what came first for you: the books or the show? And how do you feel about the way the show brought Laura's books to life?